Northeast Times

Star Editorial

Star re­port­er Hay­den Mit­man says good­bye.

After more than four years of re­port­ing on the River Wards, last week was my last at Star.

Truth­fully, I’m sad. I joke some­times that my most com­fort­able pos­ture is when I’m hunched over my desk with my hands on my key­board.

In the hope of pro­du­cing a qual­ity pub­lic­a­tion, my life has felt con­sumed by the Star news­pa­per.

It has been a true test of my abil­it­ies, and my love of writ­ing, to have long been the staff re­port­er. I just want to thank all the neigh­bors of the River Wards for their time and tol­er­ance.

For years, as the cov­er­age areas of Star changed, I covered stor­ies throughout the Art Mu­seum area, Brew­erytown, Spring  Garden, Fran­cis­ville, Kens­ing­ton, North­ern Liber­ties, Port Rich­mond, Har­rowg­ate, Ju­ni­ata, Fishtown and Brides­burg.

Every week, I tried to find stor­ies in each of these com­munit­ies, and I hope that my work found its mark at some point in the past few years.

Some­times, it was truly a mam­moth task for such a small, weekly pa­per, but by work­ing here, I’ve had the op­por­tun­ity to cov­er events that af­fected the en­tire city. I’ve also been able to fol­low stor­ies that might not have been on the radar of any oth­er pub­lic­a­tion.

While here, I covered Pres­id­ent Barack Obama’s first vis­its to the city while he was cam­paign­ing for the pres­id­ency.

I’ve fol­lowed the hor­ri­fy­ing ac­tions of a seri­al killer in Kens­ing­ton — who was just sen­tenced last week — and met the fam­il­ies of his vic­tims.

I’ve had the pleas­ure of in­ter­view­ing former Gov­ernor Ed Rendell and May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter as well as the hard­work­ing res­id­ents of this city who run its neigh­bor­hood or­gan­iz­a­tions and com­munity groups.

I’ve fol­lowed the con­struc­tion of the city’s first gambling house, re­port­ing on everything from the his­tory of the land on which it sits to be­ing present at its open­ing.

Most im­port­antly, I’ve re­por­ted on the lives of my fel­low Phil­adelphi­ans.

In my time here, I’ve seen com­munit­ies come to­geth­er for the be­ne­fit of one can­cer-stricken child.

I’ve seen neigh­bors ar­gue un­til they’re blue in the face, yet settle their dif­fer­ences be­cause both truly wanted the best for the com­munity.

I’ve seen hun­dreds pour in­to the streets, scream­ing for justice in the name of a fam­ily whose child had been murdered.

This is what I will re­mem­ber most from my time at Star: the people.

More so than any­thing else, this pa­per is about the in­di­vidu­als, the fam­il­ies and the shared ex­per­i­ences that made them all uniquely Phil­adelphi­an.

Mov­ing for­ward, I don’t know yet what might be ahead. But I’m ex­cited for something new, and I hope to stay in the city and con­tin­ue my writ­ing ca­reer.

To any­one who I may have crossed paths with while I was armed with my pen and pad while re­port­ing for Star, thank you for your time and for an­swer­ing my ques­tions.

I will truly miss spend­ing my weeknights at meet­ings in dusty re­cre­ation cen­ters, shout­ing ques­tions from be­hind po­lice tape, dig­ging through zon­ing doc­u­ments and call­ing out of the blue to both­er the busy politi­cians and rep­res­ent­at­ives of com­munity groups.

Fi­nally, I want to thank all of our read­ers.

Thank you again to any­one who found the pa­pers in­sight­ful and in­form­at­ive. It was al­ways meant to be about your fam­il­ies, your com­munit­ies and your lives, and I will miss work­ing for each and every one of you.

 —Hay­den

Hay­den Mit­man can be reached at his per­son­al email at hay­den.mit­man@gmail.com.

You can reach at hmitman@bsmphilly.com.

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